City Lights Authors in the News

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The Earth Wants YOU
Reverend Billy Talen

"Profile in The Villager"

"The charismatic scourge of consumerism has an idea he wants to sell you on. . . ."  Scott Stiffler profiles Reverend Billy 

-The Villager Nov 11, 2015

"Profile of Reverend Billy in The National Observer"

"Reverend Billy's holy crusade against corporate greed." Profile by Charles Mandel.

-The National Observer Oct 3, 2015

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Learning to Die in the Anthropocene
Reflections on the End of a Civilization
Roy Scranton

"Public Seminar"

McKenzie Wark considers Roy Scranton's book and the phenomenon of what he calls, "Anthropocene Denial Bingo."

-Public Seminar Nov 12, 2015

"Interview on KSKQ, Ashland, OR"

The KSKQ Morning Show talks to Roy Scranton.

-KSKQ Nov 11, 2015

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Woman in Battle Dress
Antonio Benitez-Rojo

"Passing in Translation: Jessica Powell on Antonio Benítez-Rojo's Woman in Battle Dress"

Jessica Powell, translator of the City Lights book Woman in Battle Dress by Antonio Benítez-Rojo is interviewed by Reading in Translation editor Lucina Schell. They talk about how Powell came across the project, the work of Benítez-Rojo, and the research necessary to translate a globe-trotting and historical narrative.

-Reading in Translation Oct 15, 2015

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Under the Affluence
Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America
Tim Wise

"Activist / Author Tim Wise"

The antiracist essayist weighs in on the income inequality issues highlighted in his new book, Under the Affluence, on the Tavis Smiley Show. Complete video of Tim's appearance, which goes for a full episode.

-Tavis Smiley Oct 15, 2015

"Racism and Affluence: Tim Wise"

How does race and racism affect in your life? Anti-racist activist and writer Tim Wise talks with Laura Flanders about the culture of cruelty: how the class system developed in the U.S. and how its perpetuated myths create an environment in which social justice is hard to come by, subjects explored in his latest book, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America. Also in this episode, New Orleans youth discuss how racism affects their lives. All that and a few words from Laura on security forces that stink.

- The Laura Flanders Show Oct 13, 2015

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Stars Seen in Person
Selected Journals
John Wieners, Michael Seth Stewart

"Oral History Initiative: On John Wieners"

Complete video of an event at the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University Library. This wide-ranging, poignant, revelatory, and often hilarious exploration of John Wieners featured a conversation with his dear friends: Ammiel Alcalay (who wrote the preface to Stars Seen in Person: Selected Journals (City Lights, 2015), Jim Dunn, Raymond Foye, Fanny Howe and Gerrit Lansing. With an introduction by Robert Dewhurst, co-editor of Supplication: Selected Poetry of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015) and the author of a forthcoming biography of Wieners.

-Harvard University Oct 28, 2015

"Robert Dewhurst and Michael Seth Stewart on the Life and Works of John Wieners: September 10, 2015"

Video of the complete reading: the Poetry Center presents poet-scholars Robert Dewhurst and Michael Seth Stewart reading from and discussing the works of poet John Wieners (1934–2002). The program includes a screening of the outtakes from Richard O. Moore's 1965 USA: Poetry public television documentary featuring John Wieners in San Francisco along with Robert Duncan.
Robert Dewhurst is one of the editors of Wave Books' Supplication: Selected Poetry of John Wieners and Michael Seth Stewart is the editor of Stars Seen in Person: Selected Journals by John Wieners (published by City Lights).

-The Poetry Center Sep 10, 2015

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Shock Treatment
Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition
Karen Finley

"Interview with Karen Finley, Part 2"

The second and final part of Zora Burden's interview with Karen Finley in Re/Search's October newsletter.

-Re/Search Oct 23, 2015

"Interview with Karen Finley in the Windy City Times"

"'At first, I was thinking that the 25th anniversary of this book wouldn't have any significance because of thinking the issues that I was writing about—how would that be responded to today?' Finley reflected. . . . 'Women's rights were under siege; right now Planned Parenthood's rights are under siege. At the same time we're supposed to be looking at progress in some areas, but it's still not enough—like #BlackLivesMatter. I felt that it was important to put the writing out there again because there is a relationship about voicing the political issues for today.'"—Karen Finley

-Windy City Times Sep 30, 2015

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Notes on the Assemblage
Juan Felipe Herrera

"Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on First Miami Book Fair Visit: 'Looking Forward to Meeting the Local Poets'"

Juan Felipe Herrera interviewed for the Miami New Times about his upcoming visit to the Miami Book Fair, his first visit to Miami.

-Miami New Times Nov 13, 2015

"Best Books 2015: Poetry"

Notes on the Assemblage selected among 8 others for Library Journal's Best Poetry Books of 2015.

-Library Journal Nov 12, 2015

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Because We Say So
Noam Chomsky

"Our Man in Boston" recommends Noam Chomsky's latest.

Nice write up for Because We Say So.

-Our Man in Boston Nov 9, 2015

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To Protect and Serve Who?
Organizing a Movement to Abolish Police Violence
Mumia Abu-Jamal

"The Movement for Justice Against Police Violence'"

Mumia Abu-Jamal reads an excerpt from "To Protect and Serve Who?: Organizing a Movement to Abolish Police Violence" on his latest commentary for Prison Radio.

-Prison Radio Sep 16, 2015

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Disposable Futures
The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle
Brad Evans, Henry A. Giroux

"Interview with Brad Evans"

Kathleen Stephenson speaks with Brad Evans about his book Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle, co-authored with Henry Giroux.  Stephenson is host of the show "Political Perspectives" on KBOO, Portland, OR.

-KBOO Political Perspectives Sep 13, 2015

"Interview with Henry Giroux in Counterpunch"

"The Spectacle of American Violence and Cure for Donald Trump."  Chruck Mertz interviews Henry Giroux.

-CounterPunch Aug 25, 2015

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Writing on the Wall
Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal, Johanna Fernández

"Three Excerpts from Writing on the Wall"

3 chapters from Writing the Wall excerpted for print and online edition of SFAQ. Chapter 1, "Christmas in a Cage," Chapter 71, “Before Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib—The Black Panthers,” and Chapter 106, “The Meaning of Ferguson” are all excerpted.

-SFAQ Oct 3, 2015

"Mumia, the Writer: An Interview with Johanna Fernández, Editor of Writing on the Wall"

Johanna Fernandez, editor of Writing on the Wall is interviewed by the Baltimore City Paper days before her appearance at the Baltimore Book Festival. She talks about Mumia's role in the black prophetic tradition as well as his importance in constructing black counter narratives for the last 40 years of American history.
"Abu-Jamal has been something of a cause célèbre for a couple of generations of activists now, and has written widely during his decades  of incarceration. His new book Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal collects some of his most important essays. Johanna Fernández, who edited the book and works as the coordinator of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, will talk about Writing on the Wall at the Book festival this weekend. We caught up with Fernández to talk about her own work, her relationship with Abu-Jamal, and Writing on the Wall."

-Baltimore City Paper Sep 22, 2015

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Two-Way Mirror
A Poetry Notebook
David Meltzer

"David Meltzer: September 24, 2015"

VIDEO: The Poetry Center presents David Meltzer reading from and discussing the newly revised and reissued edition of his book Two-Way Mirror: A Poetry Notebook, published by City Lights Books, and poems from Harps, and David's Copy: The Selected Poems of David Meltzer.

-The Poetry Center Sep 24, 2015

"A Poem Is a Two-Way Mirror Concealing the Page"

Jake Marmer visits with Beat icon David Meltzer, 'still performing and confounding, still showing the way' with a full profile of Meltzer, his new book Two-Way Mirror, City Lights, and Meltzer’s fascinating relationship with Jewish mysticism.

-Tablet Magazine May 4, 2015

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Women in Public
City Lights Spotlight No. 13
Elaine Kahn

"Women in Public chosen as one of Entropy Magazine's 'Books That Have Devastated Us'"

Entropy presents a list of books that "broke our hearts, brought us to tears, down to our knees, then built us back again with the beauty of their language, their honesty, their courage. Here are some of those books, as nominated by the Entropy community."
Chosen as one of these books is Women in Public by Elaine Kahn.

-Entropy Magazine Sep 21, 2015

"Poetry Is Not the Final Girl: Elaine Kahn"
Elaine Kahn is interviewed by Trisha Low for Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog: "Elaine Kahn and I have a long-standing agreement that either of us can flake on any scheduled date we have to hang out because of reasons of emotional distress and/or exhaustion. This means that we don't see each other often because one of us is usually always crying, but that doesn’t really matter. The feeling of knowing that your friend is letting you self-care is often the higher form of love than actually hanging out. And I love Elaine exactly as she is. Distressed, exhausted, and most of all, crying on Instagram.

"My friend Claire says often that if you see a woman crying on the street, and you ask her why, chances are that she’s crying because of some reason that is ultimately reducible to just being a woman, which might be the greatest horror there is. But on the flip side probably the best thing thing about being a woman is having the prerogative to burn it all to the ground. And no one knows this better than one Ms. Elaine Kahn. So her and I will say thanks very much and goodbye hey also I’d watch out for that gasoline if I were you."

-Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog Apr 30, 2015

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On Time
Poems 2005 - 2014
Joanne Kyger

"Bay Area Poet Joanne Kyger on San Francisco's Literary Culture’

"One of the most respected Bay Area poets working today, Joanne Kyger is often associated with the Black Mountain poets, San Francisco  Renaissance and Beat Generation. She has written more than 20 books of poetry and prose since the 1960s, the first of which was published after traveling throughout India and Japan with Beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gary Snyder, her husband at the time."

"Her latest collection, On Time, was published in March 2015 by City Lights Books, the historic Beat-era bookstore and publishing house. Kyger reflects on San Francisco's literary culture and its influence on her work, both then and now."

-Where Traveler Oct 3, 2015

"Joanne Kyger & Bill Berkson @ SFPL"

Video: Bill Berkson reading from Expect Delays (Coffee House Press) and Joanne Kyger reading from On Time (City Lights Books) for National Poetry Month at the San Francisco Public Library on April 14th, 2015

-Litseen Apr 19, 2015

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In Search of the Movement
The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now
Benjamin Hedin

"Interview with Ben Hedin on KBOO"

Hosts Celeste Carey and Cecil Prescod speak with Benjamin Hedin about his book, In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now. Hedin discusses the history of the civil rights movement and current events, which can look like the past. For example today's schools revert to being all-black or all-white. African-Americans are denied access to the polls. Unarmed black men are killed by police. Has America progressed on matters of race, or are we stalled - or even moving backward?

-KBOO Oct 12, 2015

"Brian Lampkin of Scuppernong Books recommends In Search of the Movement"

"We tend to think of paradigm-shifting history as isolated events of singular importance enacted by powerful individuals. In Civil Rights history, we identify Rosa Parks, the Greensboro Four at the Woolworth's Sit-Ins, or Martin Luther King Jr. at Selma as moments that everything began to change. Benjamin Hedin insists that we remember the hundreds of hours of meetings and planning sessions and forgotten beatings that led to the iconic event. The summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the streets. Or meeting in a church basement."

-Brian Lampkin, Co-Owner, Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC Jul 8, 2015

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Rad American Women A-Z
Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!
Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl

"Interview on Truthout"

Rad American Women A-Z Author on Confronting Patriarchal Narratives of US History. Interview with Kate Schatz by Mark Karlin.

-Truthout Nov 15, 2015

"Excerpts on Truthout"

"Radical Women Role Models Lead the Way to Positive Change."

-Truthout Nov 12, 2015

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Beautiful Chaos
A Life in the Theater
Carey Perloff

"Stage Directions Magazine"

"In Beautiful Chaos, Carey Perloff, artistic director of San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, examines her career, art and theatre."

-Stage Directions Magazine Sep 30, 2015

"An excerpt on Indiewire's 'Women and Hollywood'"

Book Excerpt: Lessons from Dedicating Three Decades to a Life in the Theater

-Indiewire Apr 6, 2015

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Man Alive
A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man
Thomas Page McBee

"Panel Discussion on Sexuality and Gender"

Mona Eltahawy, author of Headscarves and Hymens; Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing the Whore; and Thomas Page McBee, author of Man Alive, talked about the issues of sexuality and gender. The panel was moderated by Jennifer Baumgardner.

"Revolution and Repression: Sexuality, Gender, and Politics" took place in the Brooklyn Law School Moot Courtroom at the 10th annual Brooklyn Book Festival in Brooklyn, New York. The festival took place on September 20, 2015, at the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza. 

-C-SPAN Sep 20, 2015

"Man Alive Nominated for 2015 Kirkus Prize"

Man Alive, which received a Kirkus Star in 2014 and was named a Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, is longlisted for the Kirkus Prize––a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers' literature. It was created to celebrate the 81 years of discerning, thoughtful criticism Kirkus Reviews has contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. Books that earned the Kirkus Star with publication dates between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015. Winners will be selected on October 15, 2015, by an esteemed panel composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.

-Kirkus Reviews Sep 11, 2015

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The Violence of Organized Forgetting
Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine
Henry A. Giroux

"NEAR Foundation Reading List"

The NEAR Foundation celebrates Henry Giroux in their latest list of recommended reads.

-National Endowment for American Renewal Sep 30, 2015

"Interview with Henry Giroux"

Henry Giroux also explores what he calls the "soft war" on youth -- a campaign where digital space is so corporatized that it de-politicizes the young. Massive student debt has financially incarcerated them while their unemployment rate surges.   What's to be done?  This episode of Ideas explores that question using excerpts from a talk he gave as part of the Spur series, and from an interview with host, Paul Kennedy.

-CBC Radio Apr 17, 2015

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Haiti Glass
Lenelle Moïse

"A Female Poetry Explosion in the Caribbean"
Lenelle Moïse profiled as a female Caribbean poet to watch for.
"Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised near Boston, 35-year-old Moïse is a Renaissance woman. A playwright, spoken-word artist, essayist, screenwriter and actress, she channels the Haitian immigrant experience in her varied works. A former Northampton, Massachusetts, Poet Laureate, her 2014 poetry collection, Haiti Glass, offers an unblinking dive into both privilege and catastrophe, in words best read aloud in a strong voice. Haiti Glass has been recognized as a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Lesbian Poetry, and the praise keeps rolling in. Last fall, Moïse told the City Lights Books blog that if her book had a sound track, it would be 'of shard crunch, hoarse voices scatting, bursts of laughter like thunder, and the softest hums.'"––Shannon Sims 
-OZY Sep 12, 2015

"Bookmarks: National Poetry Month"


For National Poetry Month 2015, Keith Orr (owner of Ann Arbor's Language Bookstore) offers insight into the importance of poetry while recommending great works to both those old and new to the genre. Included in this list (besides Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems) is Lenelle Moïse’s Haiti Glass from City Lights/Sister Spit.
"Sixty Years after the publication of "Howl," City Lights began a collaboration with poet and author Michelle Tea to publish two to three books a year under the imprint of Sister Spit. Tea is the author of Valencia, founder of the Radar Reading series, co-founder of the legendary Sister Spit literary tours and cultural promoter. The imprint is grabbing the attention of the LGBT literary world.
"The imprint's first collection of poetry already has received a Lambda Literary nomination. Lenelle Moise is a playwright and performance artist, and it comes through in her debut collection of poetry. Alternating rhythms of hip hop and Haiti drive these poems of identity. The vodou of Haiti is a constant point of reference in her grappling of a Haitian-American identity. Even in her ode to Michael Jackson, 'a pump of bony pelvis' she calls him a ghede (spirit) and zombie."


-Pride Source Apr 30, 2015